Macron hails US 'friendship across the ages' as Trump sees Bastille Day parade

France's annual Bastille Day parade turned into an event high on American patriotism, marked by a warm embrace between President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Trump was the guest of honour for the celebration in Paris to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War.

The two men sat side-by-side with their wives, speaking animatedly as American and French warplanes roared above the Champs-Elysees.

The parade coupled traditional displays of military might with a look at wars past and present - and a nod to the US role in both.

Mr Macron, in a speech near the end of the event, thanked the US for intervening in the First World War and said the fact Mr Trump was at his side "is the sign of a friendship across the ages. And that is why I wish to thank them, thank the United States for the choice it made 100 years ago".

He said the US and France are firm friends and "this is why nothing will ever separate us".

Five of the 145 US troops marching in the parade wore First World War period uniforms. Mr Trump saluted the detachment as it passed.

Also in the parade were French soldiers taking part in the mission against Islamic State. France and the US are among a coalition of nations fighting the extremist organisation.

Shortly after his speech, Mr Macron and his US guest walked down from the tribune where they were sitting to stand in front of giant French and American flags that were unfurled by soldiers.

The two mean shook hands and embraced, then clasped their hands together for a while before Mr Trump was whisked away in his motorcade.

Two hours before the parade, the famed Champs-Elysees avenue was emptied as was the Place de la Concorde with its golden-tipped obelisk. The wide boulevard has been targeted repeatedly by Islamic extremists, most recently last month when a man crashed his car into a convoy of gendarmes.

AP


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